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Hold the Fort! - National Park Service, Fort McHenry

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4 to 10
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Take charge of Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore and save the fort from the British bombardment with this interactive. After an introduction to the situation, players prepare...more
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Take charge of Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore and save the fort from the British bombardment with this interactive. After an introduction to the situation, players prepare for battle and manage resources to save the fort. Your goal is to keep the American flag flying at all times. Registration isn't required; however, it allows players to save their game at the end of each round. Total time to complete is 35-45 minutes.

tag(s): battles (19), game based learning (149), war of 1812 (15)

In the Classroom

This interactive requires the installation of the Unity Web Player, be sure to verify set up before students play the game. Create a link on classroom computers for students to play on their own or in groups. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts describing events leading up to and during the Battle of Baltimore as if broadcasting a news event. Use a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here. Challenge students to create a fictional Twitter account (with bio and known associates) using the Twitter Fictional Account Template, reviewed here, or use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a soldier, commander, or British soldier during the battle.

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Of the People: Art and History of the White House - Discovery Education

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6 to 12
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Go behind the scenes for an in-depth video discussion of the art and history of the White House with White House Curator William Allman. The actual discussion begins after the ...more
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Go behind the scenes for an in-depth video discussion of the art and history of the White House with White House Curator William Allman. The actual discussion begins after the 14-minute mark on the video with an interview led by a high school student. Questions include those submitted by students all over the country.

tag(s): art history (79), presidents (131), video (265), white house (16)

In the Classroom

Before viewing this video, challenge students to brainstorm what a curator's job is and what kind of artifacts they might find in the White House. After viewing, extend learning by having students create a simple infographic of important White House artifacts sharing their findings using Venngage, reviewed here. Ask students to curate their own collection of items such as things found in their room at home, a collection of items from your school, or a collection of artifacts from your hometown. Create a book featuring these items using Ourboox, reviewed here. Ourboox creates beautiful page-flipping digital books in minutes, and you can embed video, music, animation, games, maps and more truly redefining learning.

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The Stock Market Game - Securities Industry and Financial Markets Assoc Foundation

Grades
4 to 12
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Using hands-on lessons, students work in teams to learn the basics of investing, create $100,000 portfolios, manage an investment portfolio in a real-world scenario of a dynamic marketplace,...more
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Using hands-on lessons, students work in teams to learn the basics of investing, create $100,000 portfolios, manage an investment portfolio in a real-world scenario of a dynamic marketplace, learn other economic concepts, and compete against teams across the globe while fostering teamwork and decision-making skills. Created in 1977 by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association Foundation, The Stock Market Game (SMG) is an online simulation game for teaching students about the global capital markets and the stock market. Teachers must register for their school and students and then will receive essential information on program requirements and important dates. Adults are welcome to play after completing the online registration.

tag(s): business (56), DAT device agnostic tool (176), game based learning (149), investing (7), money (186), stock market (13)

In the Classroom

Participants who register as "Teachers with Classes" receive extensive teacher support, including a searchable library of standards, curriculum materials, and assessments. While providing real-world practice, SMG engages students in the core academic subjects, such as math, English, and economics. Lesson plans include Teacher Background and materials to implement the lesson with students. Find more information by perusing additional publications, links, and other resources. Contact a local SMG Coordinator for additional assistance. Use the game in individual classes, school-wide, in after school clubs, or with home-schoolers. Encourage families to play at home together or collaborate with others. Additional benefits include higher math and financial literacy scores on tests by students who play SMG. Also, teachers report that the program even taught them about financial planning, research, and investing wisely. Because this is ongoing activity, enhance learning with the use of technology throughout. Have students share financial resource sites using a bookmarking tool like SearchTeam, reviewed here. In addition to curating and sharing bookmarks, SearchTeam allows users the opportunity to add notes and comments to sites shared. Have students use a video creation tool like Powtoon, reviewed here to make explainer videos of financial concepts. Ask groups of students to produce and share podcasts (perhaps weekly or bi-weekly) to discuss their learning and progress within the Stock Market Game. Buzzsprout, reviewed here is a free tool for creating and sharing podcasts.

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iCivics, Win the White House - iCivics

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4 to 12
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Make the presidential election process personal. Run for U.S. president by playing this free interactive online game which is best played on a computer using most current browsers....more
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Make the presidential election process personal. Run for U.S. president by playing this free interactive online game which is best played on a computer using most current browsers. In this lively, colorful simulation, students will experience being part of a campaign, including creating a candidate avatar, selecting either Democratic or Republican issues, participating in debates and developing a media campaign. Choose your level to start: elementary, middle, or high school and complete the easy-to-follow tasks which do involve some reading, especially the debates section. The "Campaign Manager" will lead you through the process ending with your final probability of winning. Loading the game may take a few moments. Sound begins immediately, but may be toggled off. Online assistance is available by clicking the Help button in the top right corner at each step of the game. Also, the Back button in the top left corner allows easy do-overs of sections. Students may play without registering, but will access more content, compete with others and earn badges after logging in. You can have separate accounts for students and teachers, but must have email addresses. An automatic username is generated when registering. The easy to use Extension Pack for Teachers provides more activities and assessments. Registered teachers can message students and create classes to give students a virtual class code to join without needing an email. If students register, they can check their My iCivics accounts to see points and message members of their groups which can be controlled by the teacher.

tag(s): elections (77), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Start out using this site with your projector or interactive whiteboard with the whole class. Walk through the beginning of the game and demonstrate the built-in help which is useful for students who might need additional guidance. Have individuals play or create small group teams of campaign staff to guide the candidates. Students or groups may play multiple times. After registering, the site will save games and students can send messages. Use the Achievements badges and points for student assessments. Have students research the debate topics and compare the different aspects of the game to real-life examples in the news. An easy to use Extension Pack for Teachers provides more activities and assessments.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Election 2016: Our Teaching and Learning Homepage - The Learning Network/New York Times

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5 to 12
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Select from the best and most "evergreen" resources for teaching about the 2016 election at this homepage for The Learning Network. Choose from a complete four-part election unit or...more
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Select from the best and most "evergreen" resources for teaching about the 2016 election at this homepage for The Learning Network. Choose from a complete four-part election unit or smaller lesson plans covering topics including comparing candidates and understanding primaries and caucuses. Other portions of the site include classroom discussion questions, articles, and free resources from around the web.

tag(s): elections (77), electoral college (15), politics (108)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many free activities and resources found on this site well after election 2016. Modify any of the materials to teach about local and state elections or adapt questions to fit any current topic. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts discussing the biggest issues surrounding an election. Use a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Television Commercial Analysis Chart - The Learning Network/New York Times

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6 to 12
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This PDF provides a very easy to use chart for providing information found in political candidate's tv commercials. Fill in the blanks to describe what the commercial shows, what you...more
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This PDF provides a very easy to use chart for providing information found in political candidate's tv commercials. Fill in the blanks to describe what the commercial shows, what you hear, and what you think the producers want you to get from the commercial. The final box provides an opportunity to discuss your thoughts on the effectiveness of the ad.

tag(s): advertising (33), elections (77), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Print and use this form to include with your election unit as you analzye the candidates and their pitch for votes. This form is pretty basic, use it as a starting point for a more in-depth look at political commercials. Ask students to list ideas to include on your form. Include information from your analysis of political commercials and have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools'?reviewed here.''?
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Does Your Vote Count? The Electoral College Explained - Christina Greer

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4 to 12
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Many students (and adults) don't fully understand the role of the Electoral College in presidential elections. Does Your Vote Count? is a YouTube video providing a clear explanation...more
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Many students (and adults) don't fully understand the role of the Electoral College in presidential elections. Does Your Vote Count? is a YouTube video providing a clear explanation of the Electoral College and how it works as part of the election process. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as ClipGrab, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): elections (77), electoral college (15)

In the Classroom

Share this video on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) as part of any election unit. Have students research the number of electoral votes available in your state. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare the democratic process in the United States to that of another country. Have students create maps using Animaps, reviewed here, to identify the number of electoral votes available in each state. Students can add text, images, and additional information such as how the electoral votes were cast in previous elections.

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Electoral College - The Lou Frey Institute of Politics & Government

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5 to 12
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This 5 minute YouTube video explores one of the misunderstood elements of presidential elections - the Electoral College. Using easy to understand language, the moderator explains the...more
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This 5 minute YouTube video explores one of the misunderstood elements of presidential elections - the Electoral College. Using easy to understand language, the moderator explains the role of the Electoral College and how the popular vote translates into votes in the Electoral College. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as ClipGrab, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): elections (77), electoral college (15)

In the Classroom

View this video together on an interactive whiteboard to illustrate the impact of the Electoral College voting on the election of the US President, both today and in the past. Alternatively, embed it in your class web page for the duration of your elections unit. Have students create their own "in plain English" video about a topic in government and share them using a tool such as SchoolTube, reviewed here. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare and contrast differences between the popular vote and Electoral College votes. Add questions to this video for students to explore further using a tool such as EdPuzzle (reviewed here).

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Civil War - Tale of Two Titans - Norwich University's Master of Arts in Military History Program

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5 to 12
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Discover this interesting infographic comparing two leaders of the Civil War. Learn about Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee with comparisons of both their personal life and careers....more
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Discover this interesting infographic comparing two leaders of the Civil War. Learn about Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee with comparisons of both their personal life and careers. Information also includes famous battles during the Civil War and their careers following the war. Scroll past the infographic to view sources used and additional information.

tag(s): 1800s (50), civil war (145)

In the Classroom

Use the provided embed code to insert the infographic into your class website. Have students use this as a starting point for further research on Civil War leaders. Enhance learning and use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast information. Challenge students to redefine their learning by creating Civil War timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Timeline JS, reviewed here.

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GeoInquiries - ESRI

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4 to 12
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GeoInquiries offers standards-based collections for teaching map-based concepts. Choose from several different content topics such as Earth Science, US History, and more. Locate the...more
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GeoInquiries offers standards-based collections for teaching map-based concepts. Choose from several different content topics such as Earth Science, US History, and more. Locate the complete list of available collections on the left side of the homepage. After choosing a broad topic, select a specific activity, then click to open the PDF for easy access to content. In addition to the GeoInquiries, this site also includes several additional lengthier activities including all necessary teacher and student materials.

tag(s): agriculture (57), american revolution (88), civil war (145), climate change (73), cold war (30), demographics (19), earthquakes (52), landforms (48), maps (293), minerals (17), oceans (165), population (63), rocks (51), volcanoes (65), weather (210), world war 1 (56)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lessons offered on GeoInquiries for use in your classroom. Divide students into groups to participate in different activities or use as enrichment for gifted students to complete independently. When finished with your inquiries, challenge students to create a presentation using Prezi, reviewed here, demonstrating information learned.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Data USA - Deloitte, Datawheel, and Cesar Hidalgo

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6 to 12
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Data USA provides a comprehensive and in-depth look at data across the United States using public government data. Search for data using cities, states, or topics such as education...more
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Data USA provides a comprehensive and in-depth look at data across the United States using public government data. Search for data using cities, states, or topics such as education or occupations. When searching for locations, Data USA provides an exhausting overview of demographics, economy, health, and more for the locations. In addition to searching for data, this site also offers many maps demonstrating statistics for population, median age, workforce, and much more. Choose the stories link to read stories written using the data found on the site.

tag(s): cities (27), communities (40), data (154), demographics (19), population (63), states (161), statistics (129)

In the Classroom

Bookmark Data USA to use as a resource for finding and comparing U.S. statistics. Explore information about your city or state and compare to other locations. Show students a purpose for these facts by assigning different articles from the Stories section. Dig deeper into current events using this site. Explore the demographics and economy of any place in the news to help understand local issues. If your class has a partner class in another part of the country, Data USA is a perfect resource for sharing and comparing community information. Depending on the topic of study, after exploring this site, Redefine learning by challenging students to make a multimedia presentation such as a poster using Lucidpress, reviewed here, infographic with Infogram, reviewed here, or a slide show using Slidestory, reviewed here.

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How the Electoral College Works - CGP Grey

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5 to 12
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Many students (and adults) don't fully understand the electoral college process; this short video explains the electoral college in easy to understand terms. The moderator delves into...more
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Many students (and adults) don't fully understand the electoral college process; this short video explains the electoral college in easy to understand terms. The moderator delves into some of the complications and misunderstandings involved with the electoral college and discusses how some U.S. citizens don't have electoral college representation. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as ClipGrab, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): elections (77), electoral college (15)

In the Classroom

Use the site on an interactive whiteboard to illustrate the impact of Electoral College voting on the election of the US President, both today and in the past. Share this video on an interactive whiteboard or projector during election season or a unit on voting and elections. Alternatively, embed it in your class web page for the duration of your elections unit. Have students create their own "in plain English" video about a topic in government and share them using a tool such as SchoolTube, reviewed here.

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Electing a US President in Plain English - Common Craft

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5 to 12
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Electing a President in Plain English is a video describing, in simple terms, how the US electoral process works during a presidential election. The video focuses on the influence of...more
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Electing a President in Plain English is a video describing, in simple terms, how the US electoral process works during a presidential election. The video focuses on the influence of population on the overall voting process and provides a quick overview of the general vote and the electoral college. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable.

tag(s): elections (77), electoral college (15)

In the Classroom

Share this video on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) as part of any election unit. Have students research the number of electoral votes available in your state. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Infogram, reviewed here.

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Saints & Strangers - National Geographic

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K to 12
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Saints & Strangers was inspired by the National Geographic T.V. series of the same name. Discover interesting activities and lesson plans to introduce the Pilgrims landing in Plymouth...more
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Saints & Strangers was inspired by the National Geographic T.V. series of the same name. Discover interesting activities and lesson plans to introduce the Pilgrims landing in Plymouth in 1620. Divided into grade levels, discover a range of activities from kindergarten through high school. There are colorful worksheets for the youngest students (labeled K-5), and you'll also find a map activity and suggested research that could be used in grades 6-11, too. The 6-8 videos and 9-12 primary sources could be used in any grade 4-12. Click on your selected activity and find ideas, lesson plans, and downloadable worksheets.

tag(s): explorers (69), game based learning (149), holidays (140), pilgrims (17), thanksgiving (33)

In the Classroom

Engage your students by sailing into 1620 Plymouth. Share the experience using your interactive whiteboard or projector and the introductory ideas in the lesson plans. Then pair students or small groups to complete the activities you choose on their own. The text portion might be challenging. Pair weaker readers with stronger readers. You could also enhance the technology use in your class room by using Immersive Reader, reviewed here, or Text to Speech Reader, reviewed here. Have students create an annotated image to discuss one item or idea of their choice, including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Thinglink presents a variety of levels for technology use depending on teacher requirements for the project, or even student ability. Create a class Padlet, reviewed here, with links to other resources on the pilgrims. Be sure to include Saints & Strangers as part of your Thanksgiving lesson plans.

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Smithsonian Learning Lab - The Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access

Grades
4 to 12
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Discover, create, and share digital resources from the Smithsonian Museum, the National Zoo, and nine major research centers with this visually appealing site. Use the search feature...more
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Discover, create, and share digital resources from the Smithsonian Museum, the National Zoo, and nine major research centers with this visually appealing site. Use the search feature to find digital resources including photos, recordings, videos, and text. Sign up to create your own collections, including those found on the site and your own resources. Add annotations and develop quizzes. Easily share your creations or curated collections using social networking links provided. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as ClipGrab, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): animals (319), architecture (83), art history (79), aviation (36), black history (60), civil war (145), dinosaurs (50), explorers (69), images (271), inventors and inventions (83), scientists (69)

In the Classroom

The Smithsonian Learning Lab is a must-add to your list of classroom bookmarks! Search for collections and information throughout the year on all topics. Add a link to classroom computers for the entire site or specific collections. Be sure to take advantage of the many features of this site to create customized collections, then have students add additional resources. Have students create quizzes for review of topics. Challenge students to create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here.

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Newsela - Students Vote 2016 - Matthew Gross

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4 to 12
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Create informed citizens and voters with Newsela's Student's Vote 2016. At their reading level, students learn about the candidates and vote in the "student primary." Newsela publishes...more
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Create informed citizens and voters with Newsela's Student's Vote 2016. At their reading level, students learn about the candidates and vote in the "student primary." Newsela publishes high-interest news articles, from the best news sources, at five reading levels. See the TeachersFirst review here.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): elections (77), news (259), newspapers (101), reading comprehension (133)

In the Classroom

If you haven't already, sign up for Newsela and create your class. Add students by using a teacher (or parent) provided code rather than an email address. Go to the Election Text Sets and assign reading-level specific articles to individual students, or download printable PDF copies of the article in any of its reading level versions. Be sure to set up a time for your students to vote on election day.

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American Archive of Public Broadcasting - Library of Congress & WGBH

Grades
6 to 12
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Discover and watch publicly funded radio and television programs from America's past with the American Archive of Public Broadcasting. Built as a means to preserve public broadcast...more
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Discover and watch publicly funded radio and television programs from America's past with the American Archive of Public Broadcasting. Built as a means to preserve public broadcast programs from the 1940's through the present, over 7000 programs are available for streaming with additions ongoing. In addition to streaming programs, this site also includes curated exhibits on topics of historical significance, such as Climate Change and Voices from the Southern Civil Rights Movement.

tag(s): 1900s (42), earth (224), radio (27), religions (68), sports (97), video (265), women (101), world war 1 (56), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Bookmark the American Archive of Public Broadcasting for use as primary source material for classroom lessons. Browse by topic or keywords to find videos to share on your interactive whiteboard or share a link on your class website for students to view at home. Enhance students' learning and have them use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about an important figure from America's recent past. Transform student learning by having students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Timeline JS, reviewed here, to demonstrate what they learned from one of the radio programs, videos, or exhibits.

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PBS Election Central - PBS Learning Media

Grades
3 to 12
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Stay up to date with current elections and learn about the electoral process with this all-inclusive site from PBS Learning. Take virtual field trips to the floor of Congress and ...more
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Stay up to date with current elections and learn about the electoral process with this all-inclusive site from PBS Learning. Take virtual field trips to the floor of Congress and Presidential Libraries to explore historical themes. Follow the election process with the interactive map to track candidates as they campaign across the country. Other content examines the election process and takes an inside look at the debates. Be sure to check out the Election Collection containing several activities such as Inside the Voting Booth and You're the Campaign Manager.

tag(s): debate (46), elections (77), electoral college (15), presidents (131), speech (87)

In the Classroom

Include Election Central as part of any election unit. Have students research candidate information and compare and contrast points of view. Use an online tool such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, or the Interactive Three Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here. Pose a controversial question about an election issue and have students answer as one of the candidates. Use a tool such as WeJIT, reviewed here, for that exercise. Or, challenge students to use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a candidate's journey through the election process. Or, using Fakebook, have two candidates debate an issue. Be sure to take advantage of the free lesson plans offered on this site correlated to National History Standards.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Highbrow - Artem Zavyalov & Jane Limanskaya

Grades
7 to 12
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Learn something new each day with Highbrow's unique course delivery system. Sign up for a course, then receive an email each day with a five to ten-minute lesson. Each course ...more
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Learn something new each day with Highbrow's unique course delivery system. Sign up for a course, then receive an email each day with a five to ten-minute lesson. Each course is completed in ten days making learning quick and easy! Choose from many different course options in subjects such as art, literature, and history. Highbrow only allows one course per user at a time to encourage complete focus on each topic. If you don't see what you like, choose the Create Course option and create your own learning experience using your expertise!

tag(s): 20th century (52), architecture (83), authors (120), business (56), differentiation (51), endangered species (40), equations (155), financial literacy (108), greeks (33), human body (131), inventors and inventions (83), logic (250), medicine (64), mental math (27), numbers (192), photography (147), poetry (225), psychology (64), short stories (24), surrealism (2), weather (210), women (101)

In the Classroom

Highbrow is perfect for differentiated learning. Allow students to choose their own topic and sign up for a course. When complete, choose another topic and start a new course. Modify classroom technology by having students create commercials for finished courses using Powtoon, reviewed here, and share them using a tool such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. Challenge students to create a course after a unit of study as a final assessment. Be sure to include this site on your class webpage for students to access both in and outside of class for personal use.

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Drafting Board - iCivics

Grades
5 to 12
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Drafting Board is a blended-learning tool, with a set of six modules that guide you through the steps of creating an argumentative essay. Upon completion of all modules, you will ...more
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Drafting Board is a blended-learning tool, with a set of six modules that guide you through the steps of creating an argumentative essay. Upon completion of all modules, you will have a complete essay starting with an introduction, counterpoints, and a conclusion. Download information in three parts: an overview to Drafting Board, a self-guided training PowerPoint, and the teaching guide and tips. You must register with iCivics using email to fully access all of the Drafting Board features. Be sure to read all notes on the site for suggested times for completing activities. The overview to Drafting Board is a three minute video, and it will give you an idea of the topics provided. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable.

tag(s): debate (46), essays (21), expository writing (37), persuasive writing (52), point of view (10), writing (365)

In the Classroom

This site is an excellent way to teach an argumentative essay. Complete one essay together using the steps provided, then assign students an essay to complete on their own. You may want to give students a choice of topics to write about from 301 Prompts for Argumentative/Persuasive Writing, reviewed here. Upon completion of their essay, challenge students to create a presentation about their topic using Slidestory, reviewed here. Slidestory allows for narration. Be sure to share a link to the site on your class webpage for students to use throughout the year.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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